Do you understand academic integrity?

CQUniversity values academic honesty and integrity.

Academic integrity means acting with honesty, trust, fairness, respect and courage. It’s about ensuring you are prepared for the workforce, and the challenges this will bring. It’s about protecting the quality of student learning, the credibility of your assessments and qualifications, and ultimately the reputation of CQUniversity, its courses and graduates.

Keep reading to learn more about the breaches of academic integrity.

Acting with integrity

All students have a responsibility to uphold academic integrity when undertaking education, training, and research as part of their course or unit.

It is your personal responsibility to ensure the work you submit is your own, and that you are using the correct referencing style within your assessment.

Breaches of academic integrity

Breaches of academic integrity, particularly academic misconduct, pose a serious threat to CQUniversity’s culture and values. Breaches include plagiarism, self-plagiarism, collusion, cheating, contract cheating, academic misconduct or any other act or omission that is academically dishonest.

Academic Misconduct

Academic misconduct is a serious breach of academic integrity deemed not to be a minor plagiarism or exam incident.

Academic misconduct is any action or attempted action that may result in an unfair academic advantage or disadvantage for any student or other member of the academic community. This includes a wide range of behaviours, such as but not limited to plagiarism, collusion, cheating, contract cheating and any act or omission that can be regarded as academically dishonest, including behaviours described in the Student Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure.


Collusion involves unauthorised collaboration on assessable work (written, oral or practical) with others, and is a form of cheating. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • assisting another student to produce or substantially edit assessable work that is intended to be completed by the individual student
  • allowing another person to substantially write or edit your work without the assessor’s knowledge
  • allowing others to copy your work or your answers in an exam or other assessment task
  • presenting group work as your own.
Contract Cheating

Contract cheating is a serious breach of academic integrity that CQUniversity deems to be academic misconduct. It occurs when a student submits work that has been completed by a third party. This can be paid or unpaid, and the source may be a contracting service, fellow student, graduate, friend or family member. Find out more about Contract Cheating.


Plagiarism is the presentation of work, ideas or data of others as one’s own, without appropriate acknowledgment and referencing. Plagiarism also includes self-plagiarism. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • the inclusion of one or more sentences from another person’s work, or tables, graphs, images, designs,computer programs and any other data, ideas or work without the use of quotation marks and acknowledgment of the source and without referencing
  • the use of one or more sentences from the work of another person where a few words have been changed or where the order of copied phrases/sentences has been changed
  • copying the work of another student, with or without their agreement.

Inadequate referencing skills versus plagiarism

Plagiarism (minor incident and academic misconduct) should be distinguished from what the evidence suggests is likely to be incomplete attempts by the student to acknowledge the words, work or ideas of others (e.g. where the student has made a genuine attempt to reference their work but has inadequate referencing skills).

Minor formatting errors in referencing style may also suggest the need for skills development and an educational response, rather than to treat the behavior as minor or more serious plagiarism.

An educative response by its nature is non-punitive; it does not include deducting marks beyond the parameters of the usual marks allocated to the demonstration of referencing skills. In this instance, allocating a mark of zero is not an educative response. An educative response is most appropriate in the student’s first term.


Self-plagiarism involves the presentation of one’s own work for more than one assessment without acknowledgment and referencing. Examples include the reuse of all or part of one’s own work that has already been submitted for assessment in another unit or given academic credit without acknowledgment.


Another form of plagiarism is called ‘washing’, where Google Translate or other similar services are used to translate a plagiarised assessment into another language and then back again into English. It involves automatically substituted generated synonyms and phrases that creates what seems to be a new document. ‘Washing’ is unacceptable and indicates an intention to dishonestly present work that is not the student’s own work and to disguise plagiarism.

Breaches of academic integrity will be caught through strict assessment audit and checking measures, and carry serious consequences, including suspension or expulsion from CQUniversity, withdrawal of credit for units completed through contract cheating, and sanctions placed on transcripts. Graduates may also have their qualifications revoked.

Policy and Procedure

The Student Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure available at sets out CQUniversity’s expectations for students and sets out the processes for addressing alleged breaches of academic integrity, including academic misconduct.

To avoid getting caught up in an academic integrity investigation, be informed and act with honesty and integrity. Don’t risk your career and your future!

Find out more about Academic Integrity.

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